Critics fear replication of continent's inequalities
It might sound like science fiction, but a Nigerian-born tech entrepreneur thinks he has found a way for Africans to escape problems like inequality and bad governance - a virtual nation born online. His is among a number of African-led virtual projects that aim to help the world's poorest continent capitalise on digital growth and tackle real-world problems, though some tech experts said such online spaces risk replicating offline inequalities. "There's so many things that limit us as Africans from real-world opportunities," said Emole, co-founder of the Afropolitan network state project. "(The internet) is the only place in the world which serves as an equaliser." The development of the metaverse - a shared online environment where people can meet, buy virtual goods, and attend events - has sparked concern over digital rights, privacy and online inequality. "What happens to a grandma in rural South Africa with no internet connection?" asked Thami Nkosi, an activist and researcher at South African non-profit Right2Know, which works to improve access to public information.